Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Married men earn more if wives do the chores?

Married men earn more if wives do the chores?
LONDON (Reuters) - Married men earn more than bachelors so long as their wives stay at home doing the housework, according to a report Wednesday from Britain's Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER).

He said analysis suggests there could be two explanations for the results:

A marriage might allow a husband and wife to focus their activities on tasks to which they are most suited. Traditionally, this would result in the man concentrating on paid work enabling him to increase productivity and in consequence his wages.

Taylor said another explanation could be that marriage may increase the amount of time a man has to hone work-related skills which could trigger higher wages.

"We looked at all types of jobs from unskilled up to managers and professionals," Taylor said.

They did not comment on whether or not the trend goes the other way. That is, do married women earn more if husbands do the chores?

I also do not buy their causation argument here. I'm willing to believe that there is some correlation between higher wages and housewives; however, I'm not sure I understand why that has to mean that having a housewife is what gives these working men the advantage. Couldn't working men who already have the advantage attract women who become housewives? Perhaps the women do not need to work because the working men are doing so well? I'm sure there are lots of reasons.

So I think this study is a little bit bunk.

1 comment:

grrrbear said...

There's also the issue of married men getting better raises because "they have a family to support" that is currently being brought up in the latest discrimination suit against wal-mart (where the plaintiffs are accusing W-M of systematically paying women less than men). One district manager allegedly said (When asked about the disparity between one of the plaintiff's pay and a man who did a similar job but was paid more) "But [plaintiff's name], he's got a family to support."